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Well... how do I follow up from yesterday's longwinded but true story? How about a shortwinded true story about the album (or albums) in this yuleblog entry?

Around this time last December, I went on one of my first power Christmas album searches throughout the Fort Wayne area and found this copy (pictured above) by Earl Grant.

The album cover (in good shape) stated this was a re-release and the record was in excellent shape. I can't remember what I paid for it but I knew it was a steal.

With album in hand, I went to my local Kinko's to create color copies of the covers so I could transfer them over to my computer at home.

I arrived home with the copies but left the album at Kinko's! I immediately called the store and they couldn't find the album on the glass or around the workstation! I was depressed beyond belief!

I called the following day (different shift, different people) and got the same answer. Two weeks passed and I found myself back at Kinko's. I asked if they had a lost and found.

They brought out a HUGE box chock full of papers, computer disks, one cell phone, computer cables, and several hundred family photos that were left behind like my album (which wasn't there). I returned the box to the counter and thanked the lady behind the counter.

"What did you lose?" she inquired. I told her it was a Christmas album.

A quick twinkle of the eye from the lady. "Wait a minute..."

She disappeared into the back room and came back out with my album! I was overjoyed!

"I thought I saw it back there..." she said as I interrupted her with a few thousand "thank you's" and even a little jumping up and down. I brought the album home and all was well with the world.

A great ending to this story, yes? WAIT... there's more.

A week later, I was on another search and rescue mission at a local Goodwill store when I found another copy of the SAME album (pictured right)!

However, this version was the original 1965 release with the word "STEREO" prominently displayed! Both the album and covers were in great shape and I wasn't complaining about the 25 cent price tag.

In both cases, the music of Earl Grant is great to listen to - the perfect organ album to listen to when warming by the fire with some cocoa in your hands.

This is a great light Christmas organ album He's not a virtuoso like Jimmy McGriff or a Jimmy Smith on the organ but his stylings (and his singing) are just perfect.

My favorite track on the album has to be "Count Your Blessings Instead Of Sheep" where Grant foregoes the organ and plays this one on the piano, bringing this Irving Berlin song to life instrumentally!

There you have it. I have two versions of the same album. You can choose whatever version you wish:

Earl Grant - Winter Wonderland (Decca)

Earl Grant - Winter Wonderland (MCA)

Happy listening...